Have you been to the new Koki Fish Market yet? If you haven’t you should soon because it’s totally different to what you’d normally expect at a local market selling seafood.
The market was actually opened last month and it sure is looking to be a of great benefit to fishermen, seafood sellers and of course us seafood buyers.
The first thing to notice as you drive in is proper parking spaces. And there’s actually guards that ensure that vehicles park in the allotted spaces and not anywhere they wish which is a common practice at markets. If you can recall the old fish market at Koki, it was a shambles. So the first impression as you drive in is a positive one.
As you park and walk towards the entrance, you can see dinghies scattered at the end of the jetty on either side of the building which hosts the stalls. Most of the dinghies are owned by fishermen from the Central Province, particularly, the Hula people which as you probably know are renown for their fishing skills.
The fishermen who have just arrived from their fishing trip carry their catches along the jetty while others sit around having a chat. It’s a more relaxing atmosphere and with the cool breeze, you can see some of them dozing off to sleep.
Most of the fishermen don’t actually do the selling at the market. They’ve done their part in catching the fish and now it’s time for the ladies to sell in the market. It seems to be a common practice where men do the fishing and women do the selling. Actually, the majority of those selling happen to be women which is not surprising. There are a few men doing the selling but not many of them.
All stalls are taken up and there is certainly a huge variety of catches. Red cod, tuna, lobsters, crayfish and more. And there’s even turtle meat which seems to be a local delicacy although we don’t really fancy that stuff.
Prices vary from stall to stall but not by much. Most sellers don’t really negotiate but if there aren’t many customers around most of them tend to open up for negotiation. There’s a good crowd in the market today so there’s unlikely to be any negotiations going on.
It pays to stroll around the market and don’t buy anything at first instance. If you return to a stall and item you previously asked for still hasn’t been sold, there’s a good chance the seller will lower the price.
There’s freezers and ice making machine on site too which is obviously very handy to the fishermen. Nothing like that before so those behind the project have done a wonderful job in meeting the needs of fishermen and buyers alike.
And it doesn’t stop there. Puma have set up fuel stations at the front car park which makes it more convenient for fishermen to refuel their fuel tanks.
And while all the trading is happening under the market roof, outside little kids and big kids are splashing themselves in the sea under the hot Port Moresby sun. Everyone seems to be enjoying the swim considering it’s some 30 something degrees today.
Residents should feel proud of this new facility and should do everything to look after it.
It’s much cleaner, more organised and definitely adds a positive experience to those who like buying their seafood fresh.
Best of all, it helps local people earn an honest living.
Visit the Koki Fish Market soon.